How to Make an Orange Seed Sprout
Have you ever finished eating an orange (Citrus × sinensis, USDA hardiness zones 9-11) and realized that you have a small pile of orange seeds? Seeds are seeds, right? So, could you take an orange seed – or lemon seeds, for that matter – and grow an entire fruit tree from them? The answer is yes, but it takes patience.
Gathering Orange Seeds
Any seed contains the genetic information for the plant from which it came and into which it can grow. All a seed needs is the proper temperature and amount of moisture, and most seeds will begin to germinate and grow. Next time you eat an orange, lemon, grapefruit or mandarin, save the seeds. You may not have the patience for it to grow into an actual fruit-producing orange tree, but you can at least achieve an attractive plant.
A seed from citrus, whether it be an orange seed or lemon seed, can grow just as easily as the seed for a tomato plant or any other plant. ABC News reported on how easy it is to grow an orange tree from an orange seed, and the only thing it said is a citrus seed-growing “secret” is not to let the seed dry out. If the seed is kept warm (plants in the genus Citrus are native to subtropical and tropical climates, says Encyclopedia.com), it should sprout in no more than a few weeks.
Growing a Tree From Orange Seed
An orange seed is also sometimes called an orange pip. According to Margam Country Park, wash your orange pip or seeds right after you’re done with your orange. Planting the orange pip right into the soil is more effective than trying to sprout it in a damp paper towel. Plant the washed seeds in potting soil and cover them with soil to a depth of a half inch.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Cover the planting container with either a plastic bag or plastic wrap and place it in a warm place. Keep in mind that the seed does not need direct sunlight at this time. It needs to be warm but not dried out, so the top of a radiator might dry it out too much.
Remove the plastic cover once the seed sprouts. Keep watering it, keep it warm and transplant it to a more permanent container when the seedling is large enough. ABC News says that your orange seed plant will grow best if it is kept at a minimum of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, although 80 degrees would be ideal. Place the sprout in a sunny window once it starts to develop leaves.
An Orange Tree Plant
Most fruit is grown from trees produced by cuttings that are grafted onto another tree. Growing an orange tree from an orange seed means that you may not get the same delicious orange that you ate to get the seed in the first place. That’s because plants grown from seeds are not the same genetic material as the parent tree. Citrus, however, often does produce seeds that are genetically identical to the parent tree, but it takes so long to get fruit that you could wait years before you know for sure what you’re going to get.
The phase of a young orange tree before it starts to bear fruit can take years. That said, it can still be rewarding to grow a citrus tree of any type from a seed. Even if your citrus tree never bears fruit, you can still enjoy its glossy green leaves, dramatic appearance and fresh scent.
You may have noticed that most seeds (although not all) do not start to sprout inside the plant. With commercial fruit, there may be a sprouting inhibitor sprayed on the fruit. Soaking the seed for a couple of hours before planting it could help remove any sprouting inhibitors that might be present.
- ABC News: That Orange Seed You Just Spit Out? Grow a Tree
- Encyclopedia.com: Citrus Fruit
- Margam Country Park: Grow an Orange Tree From a Pip!
Vanessa is an avid gardener with experience helping things grow in the three corners of the country where she has lived — Florida, Pennsylvania, and Oregon. She is also a journalist and marketing content creator who enjoys cooking and eating, both helpful hobbies for a gardener.
How to Make an Orange Seed Sprout. You can grow your own orange trees from the seeds in the orange you bought at the store. With a few tricks, getting an orange seed to sprout is usually easily accomplished. However, to have that seed grow into a tree that produces oranges takes several years. Interestingly, the …
How to Germinate Orange Seeds
Last Updated: February 19, 2020 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
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Orange trees are a beautiful tree to have growing in your home or backyard. Not only do they produce wonderful smelling leaves, but mature trees also bear fruit. Orange seeds are quite easy to germinate, but a tree grown from an orange seed can take anywhere from seven to 15 years to bear fruit. If you’re looking for a tree that will produce fruit faster, you’re better off getting a grafted tree from a nursery. But if you’re looking for a fun project and want to grow a tree for your home or yard, germinating an orange seed is a fun and easy way to do it.
How to Germinate Orange Seeds. Orange trees are a beautiful tree to have growing in your home or backyard. Not only do they produce wonderful smelling leaves, but mature trees also bear fruit. Orange seeds are quite easy to germinate, but…